Zig-zagging pleats embellish the facade of this wedding centre in Saitama, Japan, in our fourth recent story about the work of architect Hironaka Ogawa (+ slideshow).
Named Pleats.M, the two-storey building was planned as the first in a chain of marriage centres for a new weddings brand, so Hironaka Ogawa was asked to come up with a strong brand identity that could be reused for other locations.
"To render gorgeousness as a wedding facility, I introduced the idea of pleated walls," explains the architect. "The pleats can fit into any shape by expanding and contracting. Therefore, the pleated wall is perfect for not only this project but also the future projects on undecided sites."
Walls inside the building also form pleats, but the creases are inverted to create a reverse of the facade. This gives the impression that the walls are no thicker than a single sheet of metal.
Apart from a length of glazing along the facade, there are no windows to interrupt the pleats. This also helps to shut out any noise from the road.
Wedding parties enter via a double-height entrance foyer, where a processional staircase leads up to the chapel on the first floor. This small hall features an illuminated aisle, faceted benches and a decorative ceiling.
Once the ceremony is over, guests are invited down to a double height room on the ground floor for the reception celebrations.
Other spaces include a waiting room containing two long tables, where lighting fixtures are folded to match the pleated walls.
Hironaka Ogawa set up his studio in 2005 and has also completed another wedding chapel, which features columns shaped like trees. See more architecture by Hironaka Ogawa on Dezeen.
Photography is by Daici Ano.
Here's a project description from Hironaka Ogawa:
This is a project for a wedding facility located by a suburban road. The client desired to launch a fresh wedding brand and requested me to create a design that will be repeatable in their following developments.
Also, the client desired a new concept for their facility that reflected their unique site. Ordinary and traditional suburban wedding facilities would not use sites as narrow and irregularly shaped as this one.
First of all, I shut the noise from the heavy traffic on the national road by creating a totally closed façade which dramatizes the extraordinary. In order to construct a building of the maximum building-to-land ratio on the irregular-shape site as well as to render gorgeousness as a wedding facility, I introduced the idea of pleated walls. The uniquely pleated walls serve as both decorations and building structures.
In addition, the pleats make shadows that change slowly by the sun further creating various looks each season. The pleated wall has reversed pattern on its back counterpart. Therefore, even a single pleated wall shows different looks on its exterior and interior simultaneously. The interior space is introverted for the facility function. However, I wanted to link the interior to the exterior by the two important walls; one runs along the main access via the national road, and another runs along the approach from the municipal road.
By attaching the entrance hall, the mezzanine lounge, the chapel, the waiting room and restrooms to the two walls, I planned the pleated walls to be prominent from the inside as well. The pleats can fit into any shape by expanding and contracting. Therefore, the pleated wall is perfect for not only this project but also the future projects on undecided sites.
Considering these factors, I chose the brand name "Pleats" inspired by the architectural shape, and I incorporated the pleats motif on the fixtures, the furniture, and even accessories.
Pleats on clothing bring a unique richness by folding a large fabric. It is a very simple rule to fold. However, diverse folds host many functions such as structure, decorations, and sound reflectors. Thereby the pleated walls create various spaces for wedding ceremonies.
Function: wedding hall
Location: Saitama, Japan
Structure: steel frame
Site area: 1487.46 sqm
Architectural area: 1033.19 sqm
Total floor area: 1398.89 sqm
Above: site plan - click for larger image
Above: ground floor plan - click for larger image
Above: first floor plan - click for larger image
Above: sections - click for larger image
Above: west elevation - click for larger image
Above: east elevation - click for larger image